No Threat to LCS from Local Teen Sending Social Media School Violence Threats
By Carol A. Gasser Moore
LANIER COUNTY, Georgia – A local 16-year-old Lanier County teen was the source of social media school violence threats made to the Miramar Schools, Broward County, Florida.
Chief Detective of Lanier County Sheriff’s Office, Stryde Jones, has released the following information:
“Deputies with the Lanier County Sheriff’s Office were recently contacted by officers with the Miramar Police Department, who were investigating a threat of violence transmitted via social media to a school in that jurisdiction. During their investigation, Miramar detectives discovered the source of threat was most likely in Lanier County.”
“The Lanier County Sheriff’s Office was contacted and a joint investigation was launched by Lanier County investigators and a 16 year old juvenile was identified as the source of the threat. The juvenile and his family had previously lived in south Florida before moving to Lanier County.”
The Lanier County News has learned that the juvenile was arrested by Lanier County investigators and has been detained at the Regional Youth Detention Center while the case is pending in juvenile court. There was no threat to any of the Lanier County Schools.
In response to the incident, Sheriff Nick Norton complimented the cooperative work of both agencies in bringing this case to a quick resolution. “This type of crime creates unnecessary disruptions of our schools and interrupts learning for the students and staff. We will vigorously pursue these investigations and prosecute those who commit these crimes. I’m glad to see both agencies worked so quickly to determine this threat was a hoax.”
As Sheriff Norton indicates, posts about the threats spread quickly over social media causing worry across the country and even forcing some schools to shut down for the day.
The Lanier County News has learned that there is a social media consumer protection organization. It is called the Organization for Social Media Safety and is the first consumer protection organization exclusively focused on social media. The organization’s mission is to “work to make social media safe for everyone.” The organization which can be found on-line at www.socialmediasafety.org/ is dedicated to continue to fight to end these social media-related dangers, educating families on safe social media use, advocating for updated laws to ensure that social media platforms act responsibly, and developing technology to provide real-time protection.
Along with the Lanier County Sheriff’s Office, the Organization for Social Media Safety emphasizes that parents and school administrators must be proactive in preventing social media-related school violence. The organization suggests the following measures:
- Use Third-Party Safety Software
In your own household, consider using third-party safety software. Third-party software can provide life-saving alerts when dangerous content like threats of violence or self-harm is posted on your child’s social media account,
- Get Your Community to Use Third-Party Safety Software
In this social media era, every family must play their part to keep students safe. If a majority of the families in a school community use third-party safety software, all students will be safer, as more potential threats can be identified and remediated. This recommendation includes schools using safety software on their own networks.
- Teach Your Student to Report
If your child sees a threat of violence on social media, teach them to immediately report it to the platform and an authority figure. Reporting is critical to ensure that schools can identify possible threats and that social media platforms can remove dangerous content before it spreads.
The Lanier County News (LCN) thanks the quick and thorough investigation actions of the Lanier County Sheriff’s Department in this recent incident. The LCN suggests that citizens pray for all those involved in the local teen’s thoughtless and malicious use of social media.
The name of the Lanier County juvenile is not being released since they are a minor.